Childcare Chronicles and Neighbor Kids

I’ve gotten notes and comments from readers saying I haven’t done a childcare post lately and I haven’t given you an update on Neighbor Girl.  Both statements are true.  Childcare is going as good as it can.  I’ve had quite a bit of time off this last month including the week for testing my thyroid and the days off for my foot surgery.

We’ve had lots of rainy days but twice last week we were able to get to the park.  I had forgotten to ask Hubby to pump up the tires so poor Craig(Kalissa’s husband)  had to oblige when he dropped Carver off.

The kids love all things mechanical.  Changing batteries (balleries as the childcare kids say) is an exciting process…Imagine how exciting pumping tires up was.

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Carver loved the park.  Happily Kelli met us there on one of the days and helped with the kids.  I have two crawlers and one beginning walker so taking them to the park is a challenge but I also know the more we do it, the easier and more practiced we all will get at it.

Here’s Carver investigating grass…

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Another day last week we went and played in my basement.  It was rainy and impossible to be out a few days.  Time in the basement breaks up the time they are here.  The basement isn’t finished but it’s acceptable and the kids enjoy the break from playing on the main floor.

This little guy is trying all he can to start crawling.

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On one of our “junking” runs we hit up a garage sale.  Can you believe I bought this GIANT dry erase board for $10?  The kids had lots of fun with it.  Providing them with a vertical drawing surface is good for their development.  I’m happy they liked this.

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These three are my little readers.  Here they were “reading” Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  It was so cute listening to them.

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I’m hoping my foot gets back into full working order.  Having a bum foot makes caring for them much harder but it’s do-able.  I wouldn’t do care unless I thought they were safe with me and I do…going outside, that’s on hold unless I have a helper here.  Outside I can’t move fast enough to keep everyone safe.  It’s been rainy this week so we haven’t been able to go out anyway.  It sounds rainy for some upcoming days too.

As for Neighbor Girl.  She’s good.  Mom got a new job working overnights. She has adult siblings that live at home to stay with her so she’s safe.  She doesn’t always come over before and after school anymore as her mom is at their house..and there are other neighbor kids to play with now that the weather is warmer.  I still see her a few times a week..sometimes it’s for 5 minutes and the next time for a couple hours.  Mom calls me regularly and she’s come to depend on me too.  I’m learning that I can’t prevent everything but I can provide a safe place to land.  It’s a constant struggle for me to remember my boundaries as a neighbor and not a parent or even an aunt.  We do what we can from pumping up a ball to providing a supper now and then.  My door is always open and she knows that-her family knows that too.  She’s a special part of my life.  I’m trying really hard to keep her safe and my heart safe too.

There’s another family in town that has three girls that are regular stoppers at my house now too.   They are young tween-agers each a year apart in age.  They have a rough family with no family member wanting to have a job of the six adults that live there.  These girls are high risk for a hard life.  Two of the girls have bikes and the third doesn’t.  I have it on my radar to try to find a garage sale bike for the third girl.  It’s so sad to see her jogging alongside her sisters while they are on a bike.  These girls are harder to help but I do what I can.  Sadly town people aren’t good to them.  The reputation of the family too often spills over onto the girls.  Me, I don’t blame them for the problems of the parents….It’s hard..really hard.  It’s a fine line to walk where I want to be helpful with a hand up but not be used.  I definitely don’t want them to learn they can get things without working for them.  They see that enough already.  One day they stopped by and one of the girls said, “You have apples AND oranges?!”  They remind me of how thankful I need to be for my own upbringing and the circumstances of my life now days too.  Making things even harder is being told that the three missed school last week because of lice.  I want to have an open home but I can’t have that here.  I wish it all was easier.  Now if they stop I somehow steer the conversation outside and go outdoors to talk to them.  I think I do it with some tack as I don’t want to offend them or be yet another person saying unkind things.

Sorry this seemingly happy post turned into a bit of a downer-but I try really hard to tell you honestly what’s happening around here.

So that’s where I am with the childcare kids and the growing amount of neighbor kids I have my eye on…It’s a never ending job but I can say this.  I love kids.  I love their honesty and unconditional love.  Even though at times I want to lock my door and not have to deal with their troubles, I’ll never do that.  I know they need me…whether it’s to scream at the neighbor boys for being disrespectful and saying sexual comments to the girls (yes that happens) or if it’s finding a bike or if it’s handing out apples from my never ending fruit bowl.  They are much more joy than work…worry, that’s something I haven’t figured out how to let go of though.  I worry about them all.

 

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18 thoughts on “Childcare Chronicles and Neighbor Kids

  1. Christine

    U r an angel. Each one of those kids u take care of will remember everything g u have done for them many years from now.

  2. Ana Sweet

    Kindness will be remembered. Maybe not right away but later.

    You are providing a stable and loving example of what is possible. Never forget that.

  3. Jeanne

    Your act of love to these kids makes a big difference in their self confidence and self esteem. One day they will look back and remember you with fondness of your unconditional love for them.

  4. Ellen

    The room in your ginormous heart is ever-expanding. You are a blessing in your community. To the parents of your childcare kiddos, the neighborhood kiddos and your fabulous family. Bless you all!

  5. Sandra Davidson

    Jo you are such a special person who gives so much to all of these children. You have such a loving heart and constantly give to others. Mat God give you many blessings. Hugs Sandra

  6. ShirlR

    You have such a big and loving heart. Jo. Bless you for caring and being in the lives of the children in your neighborhood. How I wish I had had a kind neighbor like you in my little young life; it would have helped me over some very rough spots. The kindness you give so willingly will n-e-v-e-r be forgotten, believe me……..

  7. Linda

    Your post really got to me, Jo. What a kind, caring person you are! It must be wonderful for your neighbour and her little girl and the three local teenagers to know they have a place to call when they need a friend and some help. Christianity in action. Keep up the good work.

  8. Kim LeMere

    Your kindness is making your star shine brightly for all to see. Love everything about this blog

  9. Stephanie Ely

    I LOVE this post. I don’t follow many blogs, but since finding yours I truly look forward to reading each post. You’re inspiring in a lot of ways…I always blame being busy for the reason that I don’t quilt as much as I would love to, but you’re WAY busier than I am so I’ve been making it a habit to sew more often. And you’re so kind and giving. I love reading your posts about the kids. I’d love to send you some fabric and misc items that I have from cleaning out my craft room. I’ll look on your blog to see if you’ve listed your address, if not could you email it to me? Looking forward to your next post :)

  10. bobbiesews

    I want to add m thoughts as they are right along with the others.We never know how much our actions affect others- just seeing & hearing the actions of others sometimes makes a change. I am also like Stephanie. I too put together a box for you but then saw your post about getting too much. Shall I wait for the listing of the others and their addresses? A big “Thank You” for all of you & your family. I have been told by some of the young adults in my neighborhood community of actions on my part that affected them and for me it was just part of what I thought should be done in this walk thru of life. Never looking for a crown of glory just wanting to be able to do what’s right.

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